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Iran Tourist Attractions

Iran World Heritage Sites

SHIRAZ :

SMALL FACTOIDS GOOD TO KNOW:

Shiraz, The Capital of Fars providence is Shiraz , one of the most beautiful , historical cities in the world. Farsi the language of Ancient Fars (Pars) , has become the official language of Iran , i.e. Persian.
The first Capital of Fars , some 2500 years ago , was Pasargade. It was also the capital of Achaemenian King Cyrus the Great. The ceremonial capital of his successor , Darius , and his son Xerxes , was Persepolis. ToDay , only the ruins of these two capitals remain. Estakhr was another capital of Fars. It was established by the Sassanians and lasted until Shiraz finally assumed the role of the regional capital.
Shiraz is also the birthplace and resting place of the great Persian poets Hafez and Sa'di. There are two remarkable monuments in Shiraz. One is dedicated to Hafez , the master of Persian lyrical poetry. The other one is dedicated to Sa'di , the author of the famous Golestan , and a book of sonnets called the Garden of Roses.

Annual Temperature average:

Orientation & Walking:

Start the city, exploration form zand Ave. The most interesting buildings and sights in Shiraz are located in the old part of the town. Among them are about a dozen mosques , some with bulb-shaped domes , and others with pear shaped domes and cupolas. These mosques are mostly scattered in among the old houses, walk through Zandie Bazaar, Castle, and then have look at the Shahheragh . Afternoon try to visit Hafez and Eram Gardens. You should not miss the night life in Shiraz,....A guided tour of the shiraz is available.

The Walking Tour - (Old Shiraz)
A guided tour of the shiraz Bazaar, Zand Castel, Shhe Cheagh mausoleum, Hafiz & Hafez Tomb and Eram Gardens is available.

Shiraz Gardens :

Most of the gardens for which Shiraz was once famous are now long gone , but the town still has a number of parks and gardens , which are particularly pleasant to wander through in the summer. One of the most popular gardens is Bagh-e Eram (Eram garden) in the north-west of the town , which is famous for its Cyprus trees. The 19th century Qadjar palace lies in the middle of this garden , with its own reflecting pool.

Masjed Vakil mosque:

The Masjed-e Vakil (the Regent Mosque) has an impressive portal containing faience panels in floral designs with various shades and colors on each side. The northern iwan (verandah) is decorated with shrubs and flowers , mainly rose bushes. The ceiling in Mihrab Chamber (altar) is covered with small cupolas resting on twisted columns. Vakil Bazaar , which is close by , was built by Karim Khan Zand. Here silversmiths and jewelers still apply their trades of exquisite inlay work. Persian carpets and other traditional Persian handicrafts may also be purchased in the Vakil Bazaar A guided tour of the Vakil mosqe is available.

Hafezieh Mausoleum:

Hafez tomb is the closest to the town centre. Built in 1953 in a garden , the mausoleum is a small open pavilion; inside which is a marble tombstone with several of the poet's verses. One of the nicest tea-houses (chaikhaneh) in Shiraz can be found in the grounds , set around a rectangular pool. You can sit around on cushions sip a cup of tea , or rose water while reflecting on his poetry. Hafez spent most of his life in his native town and died there in 1389. He is considered the undisputed master of the ghazal1 , and his poems reflect a richness and a subtlety unequalled even by the other great talent , Sa'di A guided tour of the Hafez is available.

Sadie Mausoleum:

Sadie's tomb is in the north-east of Shiraz. Set in a pleasant garden , the present tomb was built in 1952 and replaces an earlier much simpler construction. Unlike Hafez , Sa'di traveled extensively in Iraq and Syria , where he was even taken prisoner by the Crusaders. Upon his return to Shiraz , Sa'di wrote his most famous works , the Bustan (The Orchard) and the Golestan (The Rose Garden) , which are moral tales written either in verse or in a mixture of prose and verse. Sa'di is said to have died in 1290 at the grand old age of 101

A guided tour of the Sadie is available.

SMALL FACTOIDS GOOD TO KNOW:

Historical sites: Abunasr Palace ( Takht-e-Abunasr ) Afif Abad Bath Aqa Baba Khan School Baq-e-Eilkhani Edifice Baq-e-Nazar Pavillion (Kolah Farangi) Baq-e-Neshat Bath Darvazeh Qoran (Qoran Gate) Estakhr Ancient City (Takht-e-Tavoos) Hafiz Tomb Karim Khani Citadel Khajoo-e-Kermani Tomb Khan School Koorush Kabir (Cyrus) Shrine Moshir Arcade Sa'di Tomb Sassanide Palace, Sarvestan Shah Shoja' Mozafari Tomb Sheikh Kabir (Ebne Hanif) Tomb Sheikh Roozbehan Tomb Sibveyh Tomb Teimoorian Archaeological Hill, Kooshk Village Vakil Bath Vakil Bazaar

Religious sites: Abesh Khatoon (Qiamat Khatoon) Mausoleum Atiq Jame' Mosque Bibi Dokhtaran Mausoleum Chehel Tanan Mausoleum Christian Church Haft Tanan Mourning Place Imamzadeh Shah Mir Ali Hamzeh Nasirol Molk Mosque No (Shohada) Mosque Seyed Ala-edin Hossein Shrine Shah Cheraq Mausoleum Vakil Mosque

Natural sites: Allah Akbar Gorge Aqaj River Arjan Lake and Wetland Bamoo National Garden Baram Delak Recreation Site Bovan Gorge Chehel Tan Garden Delgosha Garden Eram Garden Golshan Garden (Afif Abad Garden) Haft Baram Recreation Site Jahan Nama Garden Khani Gorge Khargan Mineral Water Spring Maharloo Lake Mian Kotal Recreation Site Takht Garden

Museums: Afif Abad Military Museum Narenjestan Museum Natural History and Technology Museum Pars Museum Shah Cheraq Museum Shohada Museum

ISFAHAN

The most famous Persian description of the city of Isfahan is Isfahan nesf-e Jahan (Isfahan is half the world) , which the Isfahan coined in the 16th century to express the city's grandeur. Isfahan , chosen and designed capital under Shah Abbas 1 , was reconstituted with so many new mosques , palaces , bridges , avenues and parks that even European travelers wrote rapturously of its beauties. Knight Jean Chardin , a dependable observer according to A. U. Pope , reports that in 1666 Isfahan had 162 mosques , 48 madrasahs (schools) , 182 caravanserais and 173 baths.

Isfahan steelworks started production in 1971 and is planned to double its present output of 1 ,900 ,000 tons in the coming years and make Iran self-sufficient as regards steel production. The Zayandeh-rud river watering gardens and fields with its numerous tributaries along its 360km. course , flows from west to east through the city , and divides off Jolfa and some other suburbs from the main part of the city , but most of the main attractions are to the north of the river.

::Annual Temperature average::

JAN

FEB

MAR

APR

MAY

JUN

JUL

AUG

SEP

OCT

NOV

DEC

4.4

5.2

8.4

14.9

20.5

26.2

31.0

27.8

23.4

18.3

9.4

4.8

ALL SPECIALS:


 



 

The Walking Tours inIsfahan.

Probably Isfahan is the best city to have a few walking tours. you can include some of the following or the sites in the left in to your program. it is good to start early and stop by a local restaurant or teahouse underway to have a refreshment or meal. you will not only see many places in old and new town but also will find many friends! there are always people who wanted to know about your country and polish their language skills. Sometime you will run in to people who invite you to their home, Well!! that is actually very normal in Iranian society. just accept and go. you wont regret it. A guided walking tour of the Isfahan highlights is also available


 

 

 

 


 

The Ali Qapu palcae:

The first skyscraper of Iran with a marvelous view over the public Maidan and city to the front and the Shah's pleasure gardens at the back , it is seven floors tall , accessible by a difficult staircase , square in plan , probably a northern type , with the Talar as the second story. All the little rooms have points of interest. A huge reception hall capable of holding two hundred or more courtiers , its interior was covered with delicate polychrome relief. On the sixth floor , niches shaped like bowls or high stemmed flasks are dug into the wall. Their purpose is not only decorative but also acoustical , since here was a music room. Many of the beautiful murals and mosaics which once decorated the many small rooms , corridors and stairways have been destroyed , partly in the Qajar period and as a result of natural causes in recent years A guided tour of the Aliqapu palace is also available


 

 

 

 


 

The Imam Mosque- (Isfahan)
Imam Mosque , also called Masjid Shah (Royal Mosque) before the victory of Islamic Revolution , begun in 1612 , and , despite Shah Abbas' impatience , under construction until 1638 , represents the culmination of a thousand years of mosque building in Iran. The half domed arch of outer portal on the square , understood as an aspect of the square rather than of the mosque , is the most thrilling example of human artifice that could be imagined. Its height amounts to 30 in. , the flanking minarets are 40 m. tall with the sanctuary minarets higher still and the sanctuary double shell dome soaring not less than 54 in. A guided tour of the Imam Mosque is also available


 

 

 

 


 

Vank Cathedral :This is a world-famous architectural monument of the Safavid period in New Jolfa. The belfry faces the main entrance. There is a small museum (originally built in 1930 , and moved to the present Day premises in 1971) where you might be able to find a guidebook on New Jolfa in English , or someone who speaks English , as most educated Armenians do. There are as many as 13 other churches in New Jolfa as well. The next two famous ones are the Holy Mother of God and the Bethlehem. Vank Cathedral's Press was founded in 1636 and was one of the first ones in the Middle East to print the Book of Psalms in 163 8. During its 3 5 0 years of operation the Cathedral's Press has printed about 500 books and thousands of pamphlets , etc A guided tour of the Vank cathedral is also available


 

 

 

 


 

Chehel Sotoun Palace:

Built as a reception hall by Shah Abbas 1 (1657 A.D.) behind the Ali Qapu Palace continues the old Talar , or columnar porch. At its simplest it is only a roof-high porch constituting the facade. When attached to a royal building , it provides a huge outdoor reception hall , and is susceptible to lavish embellishments , which have included mirror-plated columns , panels and stalactites , and polychrome mosaic ceilings.
The name means "The Forty Columns" , although there are actually 20. A reflecting pool is provided to see the other 20. A more mundane explanation is that 40 was once used synonymously with many in Persian , and still is in some quarters. Walls of Chehel Sotoun were covered with frescoes and paintings depicting specific historical scenes. A guided tour of the Chehel Sotoon palace is also available


 

 

 

 


 

Sheikh Lotfollah Mosque :

This small mosque on the eastern side of the square , is datable to the first years of the seventeenth century , and was built by Shah Abbas in honor of the great Lebanese Sheikh , who was a sort of Islamic Billy Graham of his time. The enormous dome is supported by walls 170 cm. thick , and its solidity is transmuted into lightness one would even say fragility by two features of the utmost tact and daring: a huge aperture and several high windows to trap the maximum amount of natural light , and steadily-decreasing concentric ellipses of midnight blue with delicate white arabesques vanishing to all or nothing in the center of the dome. The mihrab is decorated with mosaic tiles and stalactites , all of the highest artistic value , and the name of the architect , Mohammad Reza , is given in two tablets installed inside it. This is pure architecture , flawless and serene , and still as perfect as on the Day of dedication more than three hundred years ago. No one in a receptive or contemplative mood can enter without a shock of the sense of being received into a Presence , for all its elegance , and finish it has no weakness the scale is too ample , the patterns too strong.A guided tour of the Sheikh lotf allah mosque is also available


 

 




::Important Information::

A few things to know before getting there

Money:

The best place to exchange your money is either a registered exchange office or the closest Bank. Street exchange is common but you probably will get better fares at exchange office, besides it is more reliable.

Ask for a Melli, Mellat or Tejarat bank for your exchange. in Imam square there is an Bank that doses exchange too.

Getting around:

Get a shared Taxi if you think you want to pay as low as Iranian pay, the fare is about 500 Rials per Km. You also might want to hire a car. this would cost something about 50$ a Day for 8 hours inside city and 100$ for outside the city and between cities. contact us if you need any reliable english speaking car and driver .

Internet:

Central Library of Iran: Goldasteh Ave.

IranNet: Chahar bagh

Rose: Imam Housein st

fares vary but a 5000 rials is usual.

Ticket:

IranAir:

Chahar Bagh Paeen st.

DHL & Post:

In AmadGah street right in front of the Abbasi Hotel is DHL. Tel 0311 2224568.

PTT is in the eastern side of Imam Square. this is good for shipping things back home with a relatively good fare.

Visa extension: ( Department of foreign affairs and alien nationals)

ChahrBagh Bala , 2nd lane.

it is famous to be the best place in iran to get an extension for your visa. you need to have 2 pieces of passport size pictures plus equivalent to 2 $ money to get your extension. you will probably be asked to go to the next door bank to pay the money , but in most cases they will get the money directly and do the formalities very fast.

be sure to try to make the case so that you get at least 7 Days extension , although there are many who get 14 , 30 or even more extension with just a little bit "persistence".

you need to show yourself very interested to visit more places in Iran and tell them that now you have decided to see many more places. itis good to have a print out of your prospective itinerary to show them and try to get your desired extension.

Safety:

Very safe, just dont let the pesky carpet dealers and touts get your time . just ignore them and say nothing when they persist. it is best strategy!! but dont mix them with the student or other interested people who only want to talk to you , be friendly and show you around.

dont hesitate to accept the invitation of friendly people who wanted to invite you to their home. that is part of Iranian culture. accept it and go, but before getting there try to buy a gift. maybe just a box of Pastry!

YAZD

A desert city reconverting commercially and industrially, as well as a historical city, which regrets never having been a national capital, Yazd commemorates by unusual monuments the importance given it by scores of scientists and scholars in the past centuries. In the industrial fields, Yazdis practice carpet weaving, silk weaving, shawl making, the manufacture of the shoes known as giveh and the making of abasor cloaks. Many are engaged in agriculture, the noblest of all employment according to the Avesta, the holy book of Zoroastrianism.

The architecture of Yazd is unique, combining a proliferation of those graceful bad-girs (wind-towers) seen in central and southern Iran: the houses are surmounted by high turrets with openings oriented toward the dominant winds; these insure the ventilation of the lower parts of the house rather like air-vents on a ship. Enormous domes starting at ground level and also surmounted by air-vents act as protective roofs for deep water-tanks six, eight or ten meters below street level, which were reached by stair-cases. Yazdis of the present Day retain their sterling qualities of old. They are strongly religious, whether their faith be Islam or the "Good Religion" of ancient Iran.

The center of Yazd is Shahid Dr Beheshti Square (former Mojahedin Square). From here to the train station in the south of Yazd, or the bus station almost next to it, is about three-km. There are a couple of places to stay within walking distance of the main square, but most of them are some distance away and in various directions. Most of the main sights can be visited on foot, but it is very probable that one may get lost in the dense network of alleys and cul-de-sacs.

Annual Temperature average:

January 7.5C
February 6.3C
March 14.8C

April 17.4C
May 25.7C
June 31.4C

July 33.2C
August 31.8C
September 27.6C

October 18.5C
November 13.9C
December 6.6C

Atashkadeh

The most important Zoroastrian fire temple, Atashkadeh (located on a hill in a small garden on the east side of Ayatollah Kashani Street) is open to the public from 08:00 to 11:00 a.m. and 02:30 to 04:30 p.m. SaturDay to ThursDay, except holiDays. There is no entrance fee, but donations are welcomed. It is surrounded by evergreen trees and a large round pool in the courtyard, which gives a clear reflection of the temple for artistic photography.

The sacred flame behind a glass visible from the small museum inside has, according to the Zoroastrian elder in attendance here, been burning since about 470 AD and was transferred from its original site in 1940. This attracts Zoroastrians from around the world, and there will probably be someone who speaks English to explain thing to you. There are also a couple of paintings here, including one of Zoroaster. Architecturally, there are certain similarities between this fire-temple and those of Indian Zoroastrians.

There are plenty of other Zoroastrian sites such as Qaleh-ye Asadan (the Fortress of Lions) in the far northeast of Yazd, and the most important one, Chak Chak (see below), 52 km to the north.

City Walls

In ancient Iran there were many types of public structures, from among which one may mention the achievement represented by city walls. The twelfth to fourteenth century walls of Yazd, which are still standing, are perhaps the most interesting, imposing and skillfully planned. In Yazd, sections of the old walls and moat remain, providing an interesting example of a medieval wall, fortified by moat, towers and barbicans, now buried deep within a town which has long since expanded beyond its old limits.

These walls were begun, it is said, in 1119 and rebuilt and extended during the 14th century. In places, they were 15 meters high; being nicely decorated with ornamental devices such as those employed on unglazed pottery.

Bazaar

The 12 historic bazaars of Yazd are worth a visit. The most important bazaars here are: Bazaar-e Khan; Goldsmiths Bazaar; and Panjeh Ali Bazaar. The many bazaars here are probably the best places in Iran to buy silk fabric, cashmere, brocades and cloth (taffeta and Yazdi shawl) all the beautiful local designs, motifs, and colors, the products which brought the town its prosperity. Try to take an Iranian guide with you. Yazd is also a good place for cakes and sweets (baghlava, qottab, pashmak), although quite a lot of the tempting tooth-rotters on display arent actually made in the town.

Amir Chakhmaq Mosque

On no account should you miss the fourteenth-century AD Masjid-e Amir Chakhmaq or Masjid-e Jomeh (an exact contemporary of the Masjid-e Jame) next to the bazaar portal, famous for its superb portal ornamented with stucco, and the traditional four-ivan structure on a courtyard a little too small for the ivans. Originally, it was called Masjid-e Now (New Mosque). The frieze on the portal has artistically very valuable calligraphy etched on it, according to which the mosque was built by the zealous efforts of Bibi Fatemeh Khatun, wife of Yazd governor Amir Jalal od-Din Chakhmaq. A marble mihrab has been installed, around which decorative tiles and verses of the Holy Koran have been etched over stone. The mosque is very near to the Takieh-ye Mir Chakhmaq, a 19th century tiled edifice built to serve as a grandstand for the traditional passion play, or Tazieh, recording the martyrdom of the third Imam Hossein, that is acted during the mourning month of Muharram (lunar) in the Takieh, or special theater used for these performances, of which it formed part. At present, the free space in front of the monument has been turned into the central square of the town, and has acquired a new appearance as a result of trees and flowers having been planted. Actually, this represents one of the buildings of a historic complex incorporating a mosque, a public bath, a caravansary, a mausoleum, a takieh, three water reservoirs, and an imposing entrance to one of Yazds bazaars.

Jame Mosque

Masjid-e Jame, also known as the FriDay Mosque, like so many important mosques, was the focus of a complex of buildings of various periods and styles in various states of conservation. The site of a Sassanian fire temple, its major features, however, were begun in 1324 and continuously developed for forty years.

There is no more impressive gateway in Iran than this great soaring 14th century edifice. Crowned by a pair of minarets, the highest in Iran, the portals facade is decorated from top to bottom in dazzling tilework, predominantly blue in color. Inside there is a long arcaded court where, behind a deep-set southeast ivan, is a sanctuary chamber which, under a squat tiled dome, is exquisitely decorated with faience mosaic: its tall faience mihrab, dated 1365, is one of the finest of its kind in existence.

The tilework has recently been skillfully restored and a modern library built to house the mosques valuable collection of books and manuscripts.

By the side of the Masjid-e Jame, along a side street to the right, was the Vaqt va Saat (Time and Hour) complex, now reduced to the Shrine of Rokn ad-Din, who was responsible for building the complex. The observatory (which gave its name), a library, and a madraseh, have all vanished.

Twelve Imams Shrine

Further from the center can be found the splendid early 12th century Shrine of the Twelve Imams (maghbareh-ye Davazdah Emam) properly described as a funerary mosque. It is almost next door to the Zendan-e Eskandar (Alexanders Prison, a deep, circular, brick-lined pit about 10 m in diameter) and has a fine three line Kuffic inscription inside, with the names of each of the Shiite Imams, none of whom is buried here. Although the mausoleum is small, dusty and forgotten, it is nonetheless a well-preserved building of the period. There some interesting plaster moldings on the mihrab, and the brick dome is a good early example of its kind. The Maghbareh is locked, but the door-keeper at Zendan-e Eskandar next door will take you in. Dont forget to give him a tip of at least 500 rials. It would be also good to have a guide or taxi driver with you.

Towers of Silence

Dakhmeh or Qaleh-ye Khamushan (Towers of Silence): These are three impressive buildings remaining from several other similar structures on hilltops outside and in the immediate vicinity of the town (about 15 km to the south-west) where the bodies of the dead Zoroastrians would be brought to the foot of the tower so that a ritual ceremony could be held in presence of the relatives and friends of the deceased. The body was then carried by the priests into the tower where it was laid on the flat stones on the ground thus avoiding that earth, water, and fire, the divine elements be contaminated, the soul of the defunct person having already been by Ahura Mazda. In a short time the body would be torn apart by passing vultures and crows. The bones were then thrown into a circular pit in the center of the tower. At the foot of the towers stand the remains of the buildings, which once served for the funerary ceremonies. When the towers were still used for Zoroastrian burials, only the priests were allowed into them. NowaDays, however, some of them have been opened to the public. Beneath the hill there are several other disused Zoroastrian buildings including a defunct well, two small bad-girs, a kitchen and a lavatory. The custom of exposing corpses in a tower of silence largely disappeared throughout the Zoroastrian world around 50 years ago, at about the same time that the eternal flame was transferred to the newly constructed Atashkadeh in the center of Yazd. As a matter of fact, the towers was used until 1978, after which all Zoroastrian dead were buried in the cemetery at the foot of the towers. The site can be reached only by taxi or private car.

Chak Chak

This important Zoroastrian fire-temple is on a hill 52 km to the north-northeast of Yazd. It attracts thousands of pilgrims for an annual festival, which lasts for ten Days from the beginning of the third month after Now Ruz. To visit, it is best to get the permission of the religious authorities at the Atashkadeh in Yazd. The return trip, by a difficult stretch of road off the main route to Tababs, will cost around 10,000 to 12,000 rials by hired taxi.

Bagh-e Dowlat Historic Complex

This is a complex built according to the original Iranian architectural style and consists of a large garden and some buildings. Being watered by a qanat, until the very recent past it was used for the residence of the provincial governor. The most impressive part of the complex are a 33-meter high bad-gir (wind-tower) on the roof and a water stream in the interior. The air was conducted into the interior and cooled through the action of the flowing water. Lattice doors and windows with stained glass patterns impart a pleasing sight to the complex.

HENNA

An ancient Iranian Herbal Substance with Modern Application

Henna is an orange red dye that yields varied colors depending on the surface to which it is applied. It comes from the leaves of a small shrub that grows in Iran, India, and the African coasts of the Mediterranean, and is used in cosmetics, perfumery, and medicine.

By distilling henna flowers, an intensely fragrant boiling henna powder, a yellowish brown color is gained which turns into brilliant red when mixed with an alkaline matter. Henna stems are used in dyeing industry to obtain the red color.

Using henna for coloring hair, hands and feet considered a traditional beauty ritual has a long history. Fresh henna powder was made into a paste by adding other materials, in order to produce an attractive orange color. The mixture could then be used as mascara for eyelashes. The color lasts three or four weeks.

According to Avicenna (908-1038), boiled henna leaves are effective in treating inflammations and burns caused by fire, mouth and gum sores, prevention of nervous disorders as well as healing of bone fractures. In regions where sun shines directly and intensely, coloring of the scalp with henna is recommended. In Europe hennas has been used for curing rheumatism and helping skin regeneration in wounds. Boiled henna leaves mixed with peach leaves were used for treatment of eczema.

To obtain violet, the amount of supplementary colors in the mixture is increased. If henna is mixed, with verjuice or lemon juice, its effect will be enhanced and a better color obtained. To change hair color to blonde, one portion of rhubarb flower and two portions of henna are mixed.

Henna has traditionally been growing in the provinces of Kerman, Sistan va Baluchistan, and Yazd where it is considered a native plant. Henna mills can be visited around Yazd.

Part 2

Part 3

 

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